The fake emails claim to be from the police and contain "crime prevention advice".
Email scammers are trying to steal victims' personal information by pretending to be from the Metropolitan police.
The fake emails are being sent from an address called email@example.com, which isn't a valid Metropolitan Police email address.
According to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, the emails ask the victim to open an attachment containing “crime prevention advice”.
However, anyone who does so will automatically download key logger software onto their computer or device.
“The iSpy key logger gives fraudsters the power to record every keystroke from a victim’s device and steal sensitive information,” Action Fraud said in a release.
Alert: Fake Met Police emails are being sent from firstname.lastname@example.org that contain iSpy key logger software https://t.co/6nODc33vDy— Action Fraud (@actionfrauduk) November 23, 2016
How a typical scam email look
The subject line of the email is 'Crime Prevention Advice' or some variation thereof, while the attached file is called '11212527.zip'.
An example email reads:
To the general public:
See attached document to read more about crime prevention advice.
Metropolitan Police Service.
A simple scam
The fact the email isn’t addressed to a specific person is a trademark of a typical scam email.
Likewise, the fact the attachment is a random sequence of numbers shows this to be a fairly unsophisticated scam attempt.
Nonetheless, some people might be tempted to open the email and click on the attachment if they believe it to be from the police.
If you do receive this email, just delete it. As always, make sure your antivurs software is up to date just in case you do get conned!
How to avoid email scams
Of course, there are many more sophisticated scams doing the rounds. To help you stay safe, Action Fraud has provided a few general email safety tips.
- Never click on links within emails you weren’t expecting
- Look up the address of a company and type it into the address bar yourself if you think you need to visit the website
- Never reply to spam emails
- If you get an email from your bank or building society asking for personal details do not respond. Look up a telephone number and call to check, but financial institutions won’t contact you out of the blue asking you to give out personal information
- Never download attachments unless you know and trust the sender
- Keep abreast of the latest cons and scams by visiting Action Fraud.
Keep safe! More scam alerts from loveMONEY:
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